Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel is one of Australia's most respected musicians with a professional career spanning five decades. Relentless touring has garnered Emmanuel hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide.
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Tommy Emmanuel

Venue Concert Hall, QPAC
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Dates 9 Aug 2012

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This is a past event. Tickets are not available for this event.
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Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel is one of Australia's most respected musicians with a professional career spanning five decades. Relentless touring has garnered Emmanuel hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. His unique style is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Rather than using a band for melody, rhythm, bass and drum parts, Tommy plays all that - and more - on one guitar.

Guitar legend Chet Atkins was one of the first to inspire young Emmanuel to try this "fingerpicker" style. Decades later, Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel's biggest fans. Guitar players of all levels come to his shows to witness the magic hands of the 'Guitar Wizard of Oz,' but his appeal goes far beyond musicians. Tommy Emmanuel's message is pure love for the guitar and the music and his delight in sharing it with the world, one audience at a time.

Master Guitarster
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10:15 PM - 10/08/2012
By Anthony Cook
How can you possibly sit through three hours of just guitar music on a thursday night, having just driven for two and a half hours with the ex-wife and with the prospect of another two and a half hour drive home across the NSW border after it’s over? You can do it apparently when the guitarist is mostly Tommy Emmanuel. The surname is the clue. I think Tommy might be God's way of reminding us of His never being too far removed from humans’ affairs, taking a hand even in events like music concerts, and showing us just "what a piece of work is man, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an Angel". I'm not a musician myself and in fact I don't often spend a lot of time sitting and listening to music, other than the Beatles. And what we sing in church, when come to think of it I’m usually standing. I went with my 14yo son, a would-be professional guitar-slinger, who jumped at the chance to drive five hours with me and his mum, to possibly meet the great man, through a connection of my sister's boyfriend who knows Tommy's brother. That part turned out to be as messy as you'd expect, but the ex managed to herd the legend and her scion into the sights of her box brownie and secure a photo of the two of them for his scrapbook. But getting back to my fatigued listening/sitting tackle, Tommy looked like he might've played on for another three hours if some of the crowd hadn't started heading for the exits, presumably to catch a plane back to where they’d come from, so he wrapped it up around 11pm and finished with a just sublime rendition of Julian Lennon's Salt Water. The thing I enjoyed most about the concert was that I might have come at last to understand what my son has been trying for some time to tell me, often patiently, about the difference between mere technical perfection and the from-the-heart passionate style of musicianship he favours, and which is this iconic entertainer’s stock-in-trade. What inspires such creativity? Is there some compulsion in the artist to entertain the audience of a world beyond this one, recasting the music of earthlings for the appreciation of those who live in a nearby eternal realm? If that’s in fact what he’s up to, Tommy Emmanuel demonstrated last night what it’s like to be tapped into that eternal groove. Now and then he took time out to give us a few tips on how to achieve something like the heights he manages. I was hoping the 14-ager was paying attention, in between reading texts from his mates, to the account of how he learnt his incredible arrangement of Lady Madonna, before realising that Tommy might’ve been just padding out while catching his breath. It’s probably not something you can learn from someone else anyway, not if you want it to sound that good. We also got to experience the wonderful musicianship of two of Tommy’s close friends, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. As much as I admired their dazzlingly brilliant and often very funny items, my 14yo assured me that Tommy's performance, as well as being outstanding for its otherworldly character, was technically superior as well, given that he was often playing the bass and melody simultaneously in some astonishingly fast, complex pieces, and chiming in with percussion at just the right moments . And of course he also sang? Despite his modest view of his own vocal talents there wouldn’t be too many who could sound as good as him singing Sixteen Tons. Unless they had Tommy backing them on guitar of course. As for the rating, I suppose five stars should be reserved for performances on a par with a Beatles concert, and a lot of that has to do with the audience involvement as well. But it was a memorable night, not in any way diminished by the long drive home in the early hours this morning. By tomorrow we’ll be over the late night and we’ll have memories of that supremely talented, lovable man and his fabulous guitar-playing for as long as memories last. Thanks Tommy.
Tommy Emmanuel a great night out
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7:00 PM - 10/08/2012
By Viliam GAZO
Tommy Emmanuel and his guests provided a a great music time. I enjoyed the choice of music, the style and tempo generally during the night. And of course the free tips:):):) Thank you Tommy!
The Magic Continues
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4:24 PM - 10/08/2012
By Murray
Absolutely brilliant, deserved the standing ovation at the end. Got my money's worth with just the excellent opening act. Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo are incredible. Tommy plays from the heart, you can feel his soul in his music. Great mix of old favourites and new material, just astounding talent!
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12:59 PM - 10/08/2012
By Dennis
Tommy Emanuel
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11:38 AM - 10/08/2012
By Chris MacLean
Excellent performance by Tommy and Frankie and Vinnie !!! Love the venue and the staff were so friendly and courteous. Thanks QPAC for a great all round experience.

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